My monthly column is up now at BreakPoint:
Syncretism (noun): “the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought.”
I first heard of syncretism in a seminary course on missions that I took many years ago. It plagues missionaries across the world. New peoples in new places come to faith in Christ, but their old religion dies hard, and their old customs linger. Before long they become set in new patterns, more Christian than the old, but still not fully and truly Christian.
Some South Americans make offerings to pagan gods along with Christian saints, even on the same altar. Followers of some Caribbean religions combine Christianity with animism or spiritism. Sun Myung Moon’s “Unification Church” combines aspects of Christianity with Buddhism and Confucianism. It’s a good thing we in the Western world don’t practice syncretism, isn’t it?
Not so fast.[From Syncretism at Home]